Some times you are the bugs, some times you are the windscreen and on this occastion the Nicolson Institute Senior Girls were definitely the latter as they battered visiting Millburn into submission.
The Niccy girls hit FOURTEEN goals without reply to cruise into the final four of the North of Scotland Cup - a competition which has been resident so long in Stornoway that the Comhairle have started issuing council tax bills to the precious silverware.
Holders of the north of Scotland Cup eight years on the spin and a whopping 14 in the last 19 years, the Nicolson Senior girls don’t just set the bar - they are the bar.
From the opening 120-seconds it was clear that the Inverness schoolgirls would offer little resistance to the Nicolson who continue to be the benchmark for the North of Scotland.
Free scoring wonderkid Kayleigh Mackenzie, now signed by Inverness Caley Thistle’s womens team, warmed the keepers palms with two early testers before a succession of corners began what proved to be a 90-minute barrage on the Millburn penalty area.
Jessica Macleod opened the floodgates for the Nicolson early on as her late charge to the back post was rewarded with a simple close range finish for the first goal.
Maryam Lee then made it 2-0 with a shot from 18-yards which had too much fizz for the keeper to keep out despite getting a hand to the ball.
The third goal was another long ranger as skipper Shana Macphail let fly from distance with her infamously ferocious left peg sending a thunderbolt past the flailing Millburn No.1.
There was no respite for Millburn who fell 4-0 behind as Holly MacEwan provided an assist for Lisa Mason to net.
It was all one-way traffic and the home girls were threatening a cricket score. So much so that Nicolson girls manager Catherine Anne Macleod substituted off five of her most influential players and her biggest goal threats with Kayleigh, Shana and Maryam among those to head off the park.
But the Nicolson were in irresistible form and a fifth goal soon arrived with Holly MacEwan and Lisa Mason this time swapping roles with Mason laying on the goal for her pal.
The ball dropped in the net for a sixth goal as a corner whipped in was palmed into the air by the Millburn keeper before dropping into the net. And before the break it was seven as Lee netted again with a low shot which fizzed in through a forest of legs.
The Nicolson made more changes and swapped positions with their players as their forwards moved to defence with their defenders pushing up the field in the second-half.
But the goals kept coming for the Niccy as the pain kept building for a shellshocked Millburn side who were wishing for the final whistle.
The eighth came from the penalty spot as Kayleigh Mackenzie steered home with minimum fuss.
Lisa Mason, wearing No.9 on her back, claimed her side’s ninth goal of the day with a close range header after Kayleigh Mackenzie has smacked the crossbar from the inside right channel.
The tenth goal was arguably the goal of the day as MacEwan let rip from 25 yards with a shot which more twists and turns than a rollercoaster to sail over the helpless keeper and into the net.
Krysta Bray also got herself onto the scoresheet before then end which sparked wild celebrations from her team mates as she matched Kayleigh’s gallop up field and was rewarded when Kayleigh unselfishly drew the keeper out before rolling across goal for a tap in for her team mate.
It was difficult to keep track of the scorers and after the match the score was 14-0 with Holly claiming a hat-trick, Lisa Mason 4 goals, Lee scored twice, Eilidh Maclean, Bray, Kayleigh, Shana and Jessica all bagging one each.
Millburn almost earned a consolation in the final minute when a free kick cannoned off the top of the crossbar but this was the Nicolson’s day. And what a day it was.